Today a weird thing happened while I was copying two large files from my Mac to my hard drive. The two files vanished from the original folder on my Mac during copying! And in the end, I got a warning saying "Error happens while copying" or something, and there's only one of those files in my hard drive. Is there any way in Mac that I can discover when and how I delete this file, like this file was deleted by an app or something? Does the Console app keep a log of it?


  • You should run disk utility to verify the disk. Should you find an error. Boot in safe mode to have it fixed. Disappearing files is a sign of problems with your file system or disk. How old is the disk/drive. Try a safe boot. Shutdown your machine. Hold down the shift key. Poweron. The boot up will take longer than normal because the filesystem on the startup drive is being checked and repaired as needed. All about safe mode including what features and apps safe boot leaves out. support.apple.com/kb/ht1455 Jun 1, 2019 at 0:02
  • Oh cool! I will try safe boot later. My computer is just 1.5 years. It's not that old. Thanks for your help!
    – Hang Chen
    Jun 1, 2019 at 15:27

1 Answer 1


No. The filesystem doesn’t directly or indirectly to the console have a journal or log of changes in files or folders or permissions.

There are some tools to do that, but none ship enabled or configured with the os.

Time Machine is the way to find when the file was last present and it’s searchable from spotlight.

I would set that up now or connect and get a current backup before you do any troubleshooting so if you need to erase the drive or repair it, your other files are covered at least now and going forward.

  • Thank you very much bmike! I will set up Time Machine as well then 👍
    – Hang Chen
    Jun 1, 2019 at 15:25

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